Why I love . . . horse riding

‘It’s a full-body workout so a great way to get some exercise’

Frances Neeson: “Horse riding requires trust, focus and patience.”

Frances Neeson: “Horse riding requires trust, focus and patience.”

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At the age of 33, I still ask my parents for a pony every Christmas. It hasn’t happened yet, but I live in hope that they’ll give in one day. It’s all their fault for bringing me to my older sister’s horse-riding lessons when I was a child – I remember falling in love with a Shetland pony I was allowed sit on for a few minutes. As soon as I was old enough, I started my own riding lessons.

Now, on most weekends, you can find me at Killegar Stables in Enniskerry. No matter what the weather Wicklow’s scenery is stunning and I love seeing it change throughout the seasons. Sometimes I am guilty of failing to see the beauty of my own home but the views there always remind me of how incredibly lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place. When I travel around Ireland and abroad, I try to find a stable and book a trek as it’s a great way to see a new place from a different perspective.

There’s no time to think about anything else when you’re cantering through fields or flying over jumps – any real-world problems fade into the background. Horse riding clears my head like nothing else. It also encourages me to challenge and push myself, especially when jumping and working with my horse as partners to jump over something I didn’t think we could. Horse riding requires trust, focus and patience, which are all excellent life skills to learn. It’s a full-body workout so a great way to get some exercise. For me, there is no better way to unplug from the world for a while and I feel calmer and ready to take on the week ahead.

Tell us about a sport or activity that you love. Email 300 words or fewer to magazine@irishtimes.com with “Why I Love To” in the subject line

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